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This post is sponsored by Sonlight, but all opinions are my own.
Two years ago when it was time for our daughter to start preschool I started looking into homeschool curriculums. That was the first time that I was exposed to Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guides. We decided to send her to public school to give myself a little break since we also had a small baby. However, I kept the desire to homeschool in my heart knowing someday it would happen. This year with all going on in the world (and the baby not a baby anymore) we decided to commit to homeschooling! Again, I found myself browsing the Sonlight’s website and investigating their Instructor’s Guides. Ultimately, we went with them because adjusting Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guide to fit our life and our child’s needs was easy.
Sonlight provides a Christian based curriculum that is heavily based on History, Bible and Literature. However, there is much flexibility to make it your own and meet the demands of your life and needs of your kiddo. In this post I will be sharing ways that I adjust the Instructor’s Guide to make it work for us.
Adjusting Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guide To Fit Your Life And Your Child’s Needs
Four or Five Day Options: When planning your school year if you know you will participate in a co-op, travel long weekends or just prefer a 4 day school week Sonlight has you covered. Choosing the four day option or five day option is the first way you can adjust the Instructor’s Guide for your needs. You can download the first three weeks of Instructor’s Guides on the Sonlight website for free to take a look at them.
Choose Your Reading Level: Once you choose a base History/Bible/Literature (HBL) program for your child’s age range you get to choose a reading level that is appropriate for you child. On the Sonlight website they provide a short assessment that will help place your child into the correct reading level. This helps parents determine what is appropriate for their child if they are coming into the Sonlight Curriculum from a different program or public school. This was important to us. Knowing Madilynn is an advanced reader, but not knowing for sure what level to start her at. Mixing and matching your HBL program with different grade levels of reading is another way you can adjust the Instructor’s Guides to fit your life and child’s needs.
Take It Apart: Once you get your Instructor’s Guide don’t be afraid to take it apart! You get an Instructor’s Guide for each program. For us we have a History/Bible/Literature, Reading and Science program from Sonlight. (We use a math curriculum that Sonlight recommends and partners with, but it is not created from Sonlight.) Each Instructor’s Guide comes with 36 weeks of instructions. Some include notes, comprehension questions, maps, worksheets and more. The Instructor’s Guides come hole-punched for you to put into a binder. If you put each program into a binder you might have several large binders you are needing to flip through. I recommend you take them apart! I simply take out the current weeks papers from each Instructor’s Guide for all three of our programs and put them on a clipboard. That way I have all the instructions, notes and worksheets that I will need for all week. At the end of the week I put them back in the order they belong and get the next week’s out. I have seen other parents put the Instructor’s Guides into file folders for each week.
Make Your Own Schedule: Although the Instructor’s Guide has things in a column for the day that does not mean you have to do it in that order. And really, you don’t even have to do all of the program for that day all at the same time. For our History/Bible/Literature (HBL) program we read our Bible story in the girl’s bedroom right when they wake up as a morning cuddle time. Later after breakfast and chores we do a circle time where we do some of the preschool work for our younger daughter. At that circle time we sing our verse of the week, read a poem, maybe read our history read aloud too. Further into the day after we have done Reading, Math and Science it is rest time. Before rest time occurs we read our Read Aloud story which is also a part of the HBL program. Adjusting Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guide by making your own schedule is one of the best ways to make it fit your life and child’s needs.
Personalize Your Instructor’s Guide: Adjusting Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guide to fit your life and your child’s need is made easy with the extra boxes and space that is provided. In this area you can write notes about other subjects, things that need to be covered more or items to research further. For us we include our PE for the day and I take notes of fun projects like learning games with toilet paper rolls that I want us to do. Having the extra space right in the Instructor’s Guide makes it so helpful to keep things organized, but also to keep track of personal needs or additional plans to meet your child’s interests.
Follow Your Child’s Lead: Following your child’s lead can be a bit tricky especially if they are a bit sly. However, getting into a natural rhythm with my kiddo of working less or more based on her attitude and desire has been game changer. We did have a conversation about if she always asks for breaks I won’t be able to trust that she really needs one. And there are for sure still times that she says she doesn’t want to work that I make her push through. For the most part though I follow my kiddo’s lead. Some days her brain is maxed out and she is showing signs of fatigue. I might make her do six math problems instead of the ten. Or we take a break and finish the rest later. Then there are other days that she wants to read three days of story in one or the curriculum says to write four sentences and she is eight sentences into her story. With the design of the Sonlight Instructor’s Guides it’s easy to simply check off the task that has been completed giving us flexibility throughout the week to do more or less on certain days, but knowing exactly how much more we get to cover by the end of the week.
Adjusting Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guide to fit your life and your child’s needs can be done in many ways. I have shared just six ways that we have made adjustments. The flexibility of Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guides is what ultimately got me to decide to go with them. I wanted clear guidance on where to start and where we were going, but the ability to modify things as we needed. Using Sonlight’s Instructor’s Guides have been a great fit for us!
What questions do you have for me about Sonlight Curriculum?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,